Gabriel Jesus set for shock Arsenal exit?

A few weeks into Gabriel Jesus’ Arsenal career, manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on his £45m striker, saying that the Brazilian had “changed our world”.

Gabriel Jesus looking disappointed against Bayern Munich
Gabriel Jesus' days at Arsenal may be numbered – Photo by Icon Sport

The Arsenal boss was not wrong. Jesus had a transformative effect on Arsenal’s attack in the first half of 2022/23. 

But not even two years later, multiple reports have emerged that Arsenal will listen to offers for their number nine.

Where has it gone wrong for Gabriel Jesus?

Gabriel Jesus scored 11 and assisted a further six Premier League goals for Arsenal last season, not a bad return in his 26 appearances. 

But it could have been many more, had it not been for an awkward knee injury sustained at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 2022 World Cup was a fateful one for Gabriel Jesus – Photo by Icon Sport

The Brazil star missed three months, but the injury seems to have done lasting damage, with another knee issue, caused by a robust challenge from Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo in pre-season, leading to Jesus missing the opening weeks of the season.

Since then, Jesus has visibly struggled for fitness and sharpness, even when available, and has only managed four goals and four assists in the Premier League. 

The former Manchester City forward said earlier this year “I don’t remember the last day I played football without pain”, regarding his knee issue.

Kai Havertz has taken Jesus’ place as Arsenal’s starting striker, and the 27-year-old looks a shadow of the player he was last season, robbed of his physical intensity.

Arsenal’s forward transfer plans

That Arsenal would even consider offers for Jesus shows how rapidly the Gunners’ project has developed.

Kai Havertz is now the man to lead Arsenal's attack – Photo by Icon Sport

Jesus could still remain at Arsenal, and get over his injury issues. But with the Brazil international no longer first choice in any of Arsenal’s front three spots and uncertainty over his availability and fitness, it is hard to justify continuing to pay Jesus’ £265,000 per week wages.

The Gunners have been linked to a host of younger strikers, who would be on considerably lower wages, such as Joshua Zirkzee and Benjamin Sesko.

Jesus has superb technical quality, versatility and experience at the highest level, meaning he will have no shortage of admirers.

William Evans is a football and politics fanatic. A first-class graduate of UEA's Broadcast and Digital Journalism MA course, he also achieved a first class degree in politics and media studies during his time at UEA.